search for something...

search for something you might like...

One Less White Negro Outsideleft literary editor, Joe Ambrose on the old man's death of Norman Mailer

One Less White Negro

Outsideleft literary editor, Joe Ambrose on the old man's death of Norman Mailer

by Joe Ambrose, Literary Editor (2005-2018)
first published: November, 2007
The Executioner's Song... the novel-of-choice for the punk generation.

When Mailer was hip, throughout the Sixties and Seventies, he was extraordinarily famous and popular for one who was a proper intellectual and a proper writer. All his life he wanted to weave the great American novel. He sensed that he'd failed to do this but maybe he got it wrong. His conceived-as-a-potboiler The Executioner's Song certainly ranks right up there with The Great Gatsby or Franny and Zooey or Naked Lunch as a tome that really puts the screws to you. It - rather than the work of Burroughs or Kerouac - was the novel-of-choice for the punk generation. Its dark stark parched style ran parallel to a lot of work being done at that time by young punks. The interesting thing about it was that such an era-defining book was written by a man already into late middle age, the veteran of a Fifties bebop literary explosion. He was toweringly ambitious and competitive. He liked to be straddled up on top of an era, calling the shots. The last I saw of him was in the Deep Throat documenttary, Inside Deep Throat, yapping away merrily about nothing in particular, happy to be on-camera and in demand.

So it is sad that such an exuberant and talented man is gone.

Joe Ambrose
Literary Editor (2005-2018)

Joe Ambrose wrote 14 books, including Chelsea Hotel Manhattan and The Fenian Reader. Joe sadly passed away in 2018. Visit Joe's website which was completed just before his passing, for more info: JoeAmbrose.co.uk.
about Joe Ambrose »»

The Executioner's Song... the novel-of-choice for the punk generation.
The OUTSIDELEFT Weekly Playlist listen on spotify

RECENT STORIES

RANDOM READS

All About and Contributors

HELP OUTSIDELEFT

Outsideleft exists on a precarious no budget budget. We are interested in hearing from deep and deeper pocket types willing to underwrite our cultural vulture activity. We're not so interested in plastering your product all over our stories, but something more subtle and dignified for all parties concerned. Contact us and let's talk. [HELP OUTSIDELEFT]

WRITE FOR OUTSIDELEFT

If Outsideleft had arms they would always be wide open and welcoming to new writers and new ideas. If you've got something to say, something a small dank corner of the world needs to know about, a poem to publish, a book review, a short story, if you love music or the arts or anything else, write something about it and send it along. Of course we don't have anything as conformist as a budget here. But we'd love to see what you can do. Write for Outsideleft, do. [SUBMISSIONS FORM HERE]

outsideleft content is not for everyone